How to Create Intentional Projects & Deepen Ideas

Are you feeling unmotivated to start your next creative project? Or are you uncertain about your next big idea?

What do we do if we feel completely out of ideas? Perhaps you are burnt out, or need new inspiration, or feel that your latest idea is missing something. If so, keep reading!

Remember, a “creative project” is not just limited to an artist by title, but is done by everyone. Regardless if you are creatively trying to set your next dinner table, or your next board presentation, understanding the creative animal is a must, and can truly elevate your life.

However, I want to start in a place that is uncommon, maybe uncomfortable, and not often thought about when we are setting out to create a project.

Intentional relationships.

Perhaps relationships aren't the first thing that comes to mind before you apply your new kitchen backsplash, but I promise, it’s one of the major muscles of creativity. 

Let’s start with intention first:

When we know the intention behind something, we give it depth, a firm foundation, and a sense of meaning that gives it a set of lungs.

Why does lungs matter?

Lungs in a creative exercise or project means it can coexist on its own. It has the ability to continue having an impact and breathing after you bring it to life.

Projects that we create that do not have intention, or think about human relationships, often require constant CPR, or are abandoned entirely. They don’t last, they die quickly. 

Why does the lifecycle of a project matter? When we give a creative project life it continues to serve us. By making new connections, new ideas and new avenue points in our life that lead to new things. This is true for others as well.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Even for a backsplash, Sarah, really?”

Let me explain.

Why are you putting up the backsplash? Perhaps it’s, “I want to make the kitchen more colorful.” Well then, I would ask, “Why?”

Maybe you want the kitchen space to become more inviting and welcoming for when you are hosting parties. Perhaps you make baking videos, and you want a nice background for your social media or online business.

This will drive the decisions you make surrounding 

So, we’ve identified the meaning and intention of the placement. It has value now.

But I want to add more story to this hypothetical concept, and really push creativity.

What colors are you picking, and why? What do the colors make you feel? What does it insight into space? A sense of bright attention, or a neutral color to tie the room together?

Maybe the pattern speaks to your childhood, or your heritage. 

Suddenly all these decisions draw people to this creative element in your home, and start conversations. 

Now it’s showing a piece of your personality, your family, and you are trading creative insights within those conversations provoked by this one element.

If we think about who the creativity is reaching, we strengthen our concept, our reach and our impact.

That one decision time after time sparks more creativity, more thought and builds your life around you. All creative endeavors can do this - even the typical corporate business presentation. 

All about relationships:

If you are taking someone’s time, the most valuable asset we all own, it’s an opportunity to deepen relationships and create intention, and it should not be wasted.

So you might be wondering, how do you use the above to motivate new ideas, get past burnout, or build upon your creative concepts? What does that have to do with relationships?

If you don’t want to waste your or others' time, you need to start with your intentions.

Why does this matter in creative work, or ideas?

A good idea will make people believe that they are spending their time, money or assets wisely.

That may mean a purchase, watching a video, or even reading a quote from you. Building a space for people, a presentation or even sewing new clothing also falls into this category.

Imagine your creative project or idea like it is three-dimensional. Ask it questions.

What does it say back? What do you want it to say back?

When we incorporate communication and relationships into our ideas, we get human connection. The breath of creativity is relationship and connection. 

It is the art of translating information, messages across ideas, culture, time and understanding.

If you feel unmotivated, or uninspired, ask yourself, “What do I want to say these days? Who have I been wanting to talk to, and how or why?”

If you have intention (lungs) and you have the idea of human relationships and communication (air), then you’ve got a strong idea starting.

This can take work, however. How do you discover your next intentional project or idea? You might need to start with the art of perfecting intentional questions. If you start asking intentional questions with those around you, your audience, and yourself, it might lead you to your next big idea.

It’s common for us to get caught up in the repetitive nature of introduction, check-in or surface conversation questions. The below categories will help you with moving past this habit.

This is especially important for moments of quick passing or thought; texting, running into a coworker or friend, quick meetups, etc. 

If we aim to show deep empathy and intention, we increase the likelihood of learning more and experiencing more with that particular person in the present and future.

This is huge organic research and insight when we are ideating as people, or for an artistic purpose.

Some of these may or may not be applicable depending on the length of a relationship - but challenge yourself to bend the margins.

Categories to Craft New Intentional Ideas and Questions:

Use the below to help ideate new projects, conversations, research, connections or creativity. These are a few, I cover the rest in my mini-workbook!


What is a joyful memory you have with this person that you’d like to re-live? Could you ask a question that promotes action in recreating the memory or experience in both conversation and actual events?


Asking what action makes someone feel a certain way/emotion can give great, sometimes unseen, insight into a person's needs, traits or wants. Example, “What makes you feel loved or liked?”


Asking how someone defines a certain word, for example, “success” can provide thought provoking answers and conversation and create a sense of relatable connection, or room for debate

Written by Sarah Edwards. Want to get to know me? Say hi!

This article was originally posted for Set Apart Magazine at

Disclaimer: Sarah Edwards is not a certified or licensed mental health professional. Rather someone sharing real life experience and findings for others to find commonality and seek actionable steps needed for them.

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